Dehumanization-type Stereotypes as a Mediator between Generalized Racial Essentialism and Punishment



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This study examined whether dehumanization-type stereotypes acted as a mediator in the relationship between essentialist thinking and punishment given to Blacks and Asians. White participants were selected for inclusion in the study primarily to understand interracial perceptions. Participants completed a three-part survey including measures assessing essentialist thinking, endorsement of stereotypes according to racial groups, and assigning punishment to racial group members. It was predicted that animalistic dehumanization would impact Blacks while mechanistic dehumanization would impact Asians in the administration of punishment. While the latter claim was supported, Blacks were impacted by neutral dehumanization. These findings were discussed using essentialism and dehumanization frameworks. Implications for the findings were discussed within the context of the criminal justice system and educational settings.



psychology, race, essentialism, dehumanization, stereotypes, punishment